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Ianniciello, pitching lead CSUB to DH split at Long Beach

CSUB logo 2021

On a weekend where offense has been hard to come by, an unlikely hero helped lead the Cal State Bakersfield baseball team to a needed win Saturday.

Evan Ianniciello recorded his first RBI of the season, and the Roadrunners earned a split with a 2-1 win in the second game of a doubleheader at Long Beach State.

Through 24 innings against the Dirtbags, the Roadrunner offense had mustered just one run. The opening game of Saturday's doubleheader was an all-out disaster for CSUB, which had as many errors (five) as hits in a 5-0 loss.

But after Nick Grossman came around to score on a wild pitch to tie the game in the seventh, Ianniciello made the most of a rare opportunity at the plate, singling home Nick Salas, who led off the inning with a walk before reaching second on a sacrifice bunt by Evan Berkey.

Pitchers Jaykob Acosta, Jack Lee and Ethan Skuija did the rest, combining to allow one unearned run on seven hits with 10 strikeouts.

Skuija got the win, fanning five in three innings, the last of which ended the game, as he put down Chase Luttrell swinging with two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The win helped CSUB, which is now 16-11 in conference play, jump back into third place in the Big West after the Dirtbags (18-13) had leapfrogged them following game one.

The Roadrunners will attempt to hold onto third while earning a series split when the teams close out their four-game set in Long Beach at 1 p.m. Sunday.